After a long and sometimes painful search for a new director, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has found the person with the right credentials to run its artistic programs.
Graham W.J. Beal was born and educated in Britain. He was chief curator at the Walker Center in Minneapolis and the San Francisco Museum of Art. Most recently, he was the director at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Neb.
Beal is a specialist in contemporary art but his expertise reaches back to the 17th century, a cultural scope that fits the demands of a museum with LACMA's characteristics. His peers praise the new director as a scholar, a sophisticate and, said one, "everything you need in a museum director."
The acquisition, conservation and exhibition of art are important parts of the new director's responsibilities, but being a county museum, LACMA presents special challenges for Beal, who must improve its programs for education and community outreach.